Fennemores rocked by group defection to emw

Fennemores has been hit by the defection of a further five lawyers to rival emw law, leaving the embattled Milton Keynes firm’s property and corporate groups in tatters.

Salaried partners David Danskin and Wendy Hodrien, associates Stephen Evans and Giles Ferin, and solicitor Jody Bingham will move across to emw’s Milton Keynes office in May.

The defections follow that of head of commercial property Simon Ingram, head of corporate Chris Robinson and partner Rob Goffman. They resigned last November and are due to join emw in April. Combined with the loss of Robinson, the defections of Bingham and Evans leave Fennemores without a corporate capability.

The exits of Danskin, Ferin, Goffman, Hodrien and Ingram also slashes the firm’s strong commercial property practice to just one partner and three assistants.

Historically considered a leader of the Milton Keynes market, Fennemores will be left with just seven partners overall following the defections. Meanwhile, emw will be bolstered to 14 partners in Milton Keynes and five in Northampton.

Fennemores, which retains sizeable personal injury (PI) and private client teams, has struggled following a downturn in volume work, most notably after losing a key PI contact with insurer AA.

Ian Morris, chairman at emw, said: “Fennemores has historically been considered to have the pre-eminent commercial property practice in Milton Keynes, so when the opportunity arose to acquire the majority of that team we jumped at it.”

Danskin, Ferin and Hodrien will join emw as partners, while Evans remains an associate and Bingham a solicitor.

Fennemores managing partner Martin Keeling said the firm was confident in the enforceability of its restrictive covenants and already had several lateral hires in the pipeline.